“Moved by Waters”

Fourth Wall Films, via Truth First Film Alliance, Inc., requests a grant to produce “Moved by Waters”, a broadcast-quality visually-creative 28-minute film that will profile examples of diverse individuals and/or groups of individuals who look beyond that which may be socially or politically divisive to collaborate on an effort to create a wilder, more beautiful, more biologically diverse, and a more enduring Mississippi River Watershed. These collaborative efforts will show the benefits of rewilding, ie. reducing soil/nutrient loss, improving water quality, and increasing biodiversity. The key purpose of the film is to demonstrate to viewers that what unites us is more important than what divides us. The people and organizations in these stories will cross boundaries that impede the inherent spontaneity and self-regulating qualities of wild nature. These stories will also emphasize the importance of consensus and community building without overlooking the importance of individual freedom.

Truth First Film Alliance, Inc. (TFFA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that promotes, supports, and encourages the production and exhibition of documentary films, and narrative films based on true stories, through public presentations and educational programs in the Quad Cities region. TFFA programs include film screenings and discussions with visiting filmmakers and classroom visits to talk about film and filmmaking with students. TFFA is the fiscal sponsor for this project.

Using on-camera interview comments, documentary footage of the Upper Mississippi Center’s 6-8 month collaborative environmental work in the Quad City region, and footage capturing other project efforts of rural and urban collaborations in the region (rural and urban roles in terms of the problems, as well as solutions), river and wildlife footage, landscape and cityscape footage, as well as maps and colorful graphics, the film will illustrate an inspiring and motivating universal message showing people working together for the common good. The stories depicted in the film will be life-centered, not just human-centered, as onscreen participants unite behind a belief that non-human members of the cosmos have inherent value, mutual understanding, trust, and respect and can create diverse communities benefiting all life.

The strength of our documentary films is in the way we tell the story, and the best way to tell the story emerges from the footage and interview comments gathered for the film.

The primary audience for the documentary will be the general public, with outreach to those who care about environmental issues but feel their voices have not been heard.

The completed film will be previewed at the 2023 Iowa Nature Summit and featured at a special Premiere Event at the Putnam Museum and Science Center (on September 27, 2024). It will also be accessible in many other places including via Facebook or Twitter (X) posts by other related organizations, and Fourth Wall Films’ social media accounts. “Moved by Waters” will have its Broadcast Premiere on WQPT-PBS in February 2024 reaching thousands of viewers. The film will be submitted to environmental film festivals and other film festivals, and special screenings will be presented to the public on an ongoing basis, as requested. The film will be posted and shared on Vimeo and YouTube later.

Fourth Wall Films won a Mid-America Emmy® for its short film “Over and Under: Wildlife Crossings” and “Places To Be Wild” received an Emmy nomination. Both were produced with grants from BeWildReWild. Fourth Wall Films is a four-time Emmy® winning, twelve-time Emmy® nominated and award-winning independent film production company based in the Illinois/Iowa Quad Cities on the Mississippi River. Since the release of our first feature-length historical documentary film in 2004, we have completed over twenty films that tell important but forgotten Midwestern history stories, including the Lost Nation: The Ioway documentary series. Each year we also complete work for select outside clients (Good Earth: Awakening the Silent City – State of South Dakota), and we work in partnership with local or regional non-profit organizations (Any Kid Anywhere: Sex Trafficking Survivor Stories – Braking Traffik). We look for projects that reflect our interests and values.

Grant funds will be used for four phases of the film project beginning in mid-November 2022 and ending in fall 2023.

This project will include aerial footage as an effective way to depict the visual sweep of three important rivers in the region: the Mississippi, the Rock, and the Wapsipinicon, as well as the four Iowa/Illinois cities positioned together on America’s greatest river. Grant funds will also cover a portion of the cost of travel, and the editing and finishing phase of the project, as well as a portion of the cost of music and stock footage licensing.

Grant Request: $55,000